Fish People

A Film About Lives Transformed by the Sea

To some, the ocean is a fearsome and dangerous place. But to others, it’s a limitless world of fun, freedom and opportunity where life can be lived to the full. A new documentary presented by Patagonia and directed by Keith Malloy, FISHPEOPLE tells the stories of a unique cast of characters who have dedicated their lives to the sea. From surfers and spearfishers to a former coal miner and a group of at-risk kids in San Francisco, it’s a film about the transformative effects of time spent in the ocean—and how we can leave our limitations behind to find deeper meaning in the saltwater wilderness that lies just beyond the shore.

Dave Rastovich


Keith Malloy is one of those people who has dedicated his life to the ocean. He was transformed by it as a child and it has made him who he is today. The pro surfer/filmmaker recently made his second film, “Fishpeople”, which dives into six lives that have been shaped by the ocean.

©Villager Goods


Dave Rastovich is one of the most gifted waveriders in the world. As a junior surfer in Australia, he was on the same level as his compatriots who went on to world championship titles and lucrative competitive careers. But for Dave, surfing was supposed to be about having fun, not having to prove you’re the best, and he eventually chose the freedom of the ocean over the rules and regulations of contest surfing. .

Kimi Werner – Growing up on Maui, Kimi Werner was taught something Hawaiians have always known: You should never take more than you need. Her father introduced her to spearfishing at a young age, and her keen instinct and ability in the ocean helped her to win a U.S. National Spearfishing Championship. But the world of competition wasn’t always in line with her beliefs, so she left it behind to focus on marine conservation and sustainable hunting. For Kimi, spearfishing is about creating the most intimate connection possible with the ecosystem that sustains her.

Ray Collins grew up near Wollongong, New South Wales, where the rugged beauty of the Australian coastline stood in stark contrast to the heavy industry that drove the city’s economic life. As a boy, surfing and bodyboarding taught him to feel at home in the ocean—but later in life, like many of his friends, he went to work in the coal mines to make ends meet. After a workplace injury kept him from surfing, he picked up a camera and started swimming into the surf to shoot pictures of breaking waves. Thats when everything changed. His ability for dramatic shots, enables the viewers to feel the raw power of the ocean.

Matahi Drollet – For thousands of years, the peoples of Polynesia have lived in partnership with the ocean. And in some places, like the outlying villages of Tahiti, that partnership hasn’t changed much at all. Matahi Drollet, a young surfer and fisherman, is one of the next generation of Tahitian watermen and waterwomen who are inheriting and evolving the traditions of their predecessors. With his young age, 19-years-old, he is already one of the best charges at his local infamous break Teahupoo.

Eddie Donnellan – For some, surfing is a selfish pursuit. For others, however, it’s an act of joy and opportunity that gets even better when shared. Eddie Donnellan introduces  at-risk youth and families to the magic and healing of Mother Nature. By giving kids with high-stress lives a chance to break through barriers and escape to the beach, his work demonstrates that the ocean can be a place of life-changing empowerment and growth.

Lynne Cox – The Bering Strait is unusual place to go for a swim. The same could be said about Antarctica, the Strait of Magellan and the Cape of Good Hope. But Lynne Cox isn’t one to stick with the usual—from age 14, when she first swam from Catalina to the California mainland, she’s dedicated her life to swimming long distances across cold and inhospitable expanses of water. Pushing the boundaries of the possible, her accomplishments have demonstrated how the simple act of swimming can help to rebuild our relationship with the natural world.